Published Letters to the Editor

June 06

Daily Progress
by Liz Palmer

Opinion/Letter: Kathy Galvin, Experienced, Ready to Lead

I write to give my endorsement to Kathy Galvin as she seeks the Democratic nomination for the 57th District House of Delegates seat.

I have worked with Kathy Galvin for the past six years in my capacity as the Samuel Miller District representative on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and served with her on the board of the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.

Her integrity and clear-eyed, logical approach to the controversies and challenges that have faced our community make her stand out as an experienced and battle-tested public servant.

There is a learning curve to public service, as with any endeavor, and I have watched Kathy build on her experience each year. She does the research and comes prepared to address the serious social, economic, and environmental discussions and decisions councilors must make.

She is hopeful but realistic, open-minded and thoughtful, while being prudent and always aware of the budget.

She knows our community, works well with others, and can reach across the aisle to get things done while remaining true to her convictions and purpose.

She is ready to be a skilled and effective state legislator from the start, and I recommend her highly.

— Liz Palmer, Albemarle County

May 31

Daily Progress
by John Delehanty

Opinion/Letter: Galvin qualified for Virginia House

I write to recommend Kathy Galvin as the Democratic nominee for the 57th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Kathy has served the public locally for 12 years on the Charlottesville School Board and City Council. This experience in and knowledge of local issues are invaluable in arguing in the Virginia House for matters that concern us here at home. That retiring Del. David Toscano has endorsed Kathy speaks to her unrivaled qualifications.

Kathy’s performance on Charlottesville City Council during recent tumultuous times is particularly noteworthy. While fully supporting more symbolic actions such as removal of the Confederate statues, Kathy kept her eye on the ball by continuing to advocate for practical, constructive community concerns such as affordable housing, infrastructure improvements, and educational enhancements for all citizens. Kathy did her homework, delving into the necessary but often overlooked minutiae of zoning and construction requirements in planning for new or upgraded housing and infrastructure.

Kathy’s support is based on her long service and residence in our area. It depends on individual citizen input and donations rather than on a huge hedge fund-associated contribution.

Kathy Galvin’s qualifications and performance over years of service make her the best choice for the Democratic primary on June 11.

— John Delehanty, Charlottesville

May 27

Daily Progress
by Ned Michie

Opinion/Letter: Experience Lifts Galvin

I write to join David Toscano in endorsing Kathy Galvin, a candidate with exceptionally broad experience, to fill his slot as the Democratic candidate for the 57th District.   

I served with Kathy during her time on the School Board (2008-2011), and in my 14 years on the board no one worked harder than Kathy. From day one, she was focused on closing achievement gaps and implementing progressive changes to make our school division — which the 2019 Niche rankings list as one of the most diverse in the commonwealth (second out of 133) and in the nation (18th out of 11,851) — better for all students.

Despite the constraints of the Great Recession, during Kathy's tenure the School Board instituted: a nationally proven, best-practice program designed to encourage and develop college and career readiness (AVID); more inclusive classroom practices for special needs students; improved educational summer and after-school offerings; and enhancements to reading and math instruction.

We further expanded our preschool program for 4-year-olds, taking full advantage of state matching funds, and grew our purely locally funded preschool program for 3-year-olds (unique in the commonwealth).

We also took advantage of a voluntary state efficiency review program that produced a thorough division-wide evaluation, and because we implemented a very high percentage of the review's recommendations, we saved three-quarters of the $120,000 cost.

As a result of these and other changes, the on-time graduation rate for African American students in Charlottesville rose from 66% in 2008 to 88% in 2018 (a more than 20% increase).  

In addition, after a 2009-2010 community-wide dialogue regarding the division’s grade configurations, we established a plan to centralize and expand the preschool and to reduce student transitions by putting fifth grade back into our elementary schools and creating a single modernized middle school for grades six through eight. Kathy and her colleagues on Charlottesville City Council funded the first step toward implementing this plan in their recently adopted budget.

Kathy has always worked to make the right decision rather than the emotional one, not only for public education, but for many other issues that she faced as a city councilor. I urge residents of the 57th District to vote for experience by voting for Kathy.

— Ned Michie, Charlottesville

May 27

Daily Progress
by Bruce Williamson

Opinion/Letter: Galvin Superior Candidate

We are fortunate to have two excellent candidates for the House of Delegates to succeed Del. David Toscano.

As his law partner for 14 years, I was proud to see his long service on City Council and, after we were no longer practicing together, in the House of Delegates. David had dedicated many years of local public service to the community before standing for election to the state legislature. That experience has served him well throughout his career in Richmond.

Kathy Galvin’s 12 years of local elected service, four on the Charlottesville School Board and eight on City Council, make her the better choice for the House of Delegates.

In the House of Delegates, Kathy will able to accomplish her policy goals — and to blunt the efforts of others to enact undesirable statutes — because of her experience in getting things accomplished with groups of diverse fellow members whose composition changes over time.

I worked with Kathy and other members of City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors for several years concerning the now concluded agreement between city and county for a new, joint facility for their General District Courts. That agreement also ensures that the county circuit court will remain at Court Square and that a new, much needed parking garage will be built downtown.

Kathy worked effectively on council and with the board, both of which underwent significant changes in membership during the negotiations. There were quite a few very rough patches along the way, and Kathy’s work was very important in helping to bring those talks to a successful conclusion.

Kathy Galvin is the candidate with a record of accomplishments, extensive knowledge and experience with the internal workings of our local governments. She will bring those skills and experience to Richmond. I urge residents to vote for Kathy Galvin in the Democratic primary on June 11.

—Bruce Williamson, Charlottesville

May 29

Daily Progress
by Sally Thomas

Opinion/Letter: Experienced Galvin Can Represent All Constituents

When I was chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Albemarle County decided it needed a new policy to make its developing areas better places to live and work, so we appointed a diverse committee. Its members spent two years hammering out the plan that became the Neighborhood Model, at the time a unique smart-growth plan. 

We asked city resident Kathy Galvin to co-chair this effort. That was in 1997, and ever since then I’ve known that Kathy has the technical, human, and organizational skills to bring new ideas into fruition.

Since the 57th District includes almost equal numbers of Charlottesville and county voters, its representative has to understand both jurisdictions, which, uniquely, Kathy has proven that she can do. Since, due to the infamous Dillon Rule, local governments are severely limited by actions at the General Assembly, I think we are best represented by someone who knows the struggles local governments have in meeting residents’ needs.

No one should expect to agree with every single one of the hundreds of decisions Kathy has made in a period of 12 years of public service, but I think that amazing record of service to this community indicates the vigor, intelligence, and devotion that will make Kathy a uniquely fine representative for us all in Richmond.

—Sally Thomas, Albemarle County